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Synching metadata between LrC and Lr (and vice versa)

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I'm currently in the midst of a fairly massive project to digitize all of my family's slides and negatives going all the way back to 1940--perhaps 10,000 images in all. My work flow is to import the new hi-res scans into Lr, then let them sync down to LrC where I can use the date plugin to correct dates and I can add captions, location information, etc. (However, I find Lr easier to use for editing so I do most of my editing with the Lr Desktop.) In doing this, I've noticed some oddities in the synchronization of image metadata between Lr and LrC. Some information (Capture Date, Caption, Copyright, and Creator) seems to synchronize quite well. I can make a change in LrC and it will appear in Lr within a minute or two, and vice versa most of the time. I knew there was an issue of syncing keywords (tags?) from LrC but other information (Sublocation/Location, City, State, Country/Region) does not appear to sync at all either. Are the full metadata sync capabilities/limitations listed anywhere?

Today I discovered some the metadata edits to Copyright and Creator that I had made using a newly created preset in LrC failed to sync from LrC to Lr. I found this a bit unsettling, so thought I should try exporting files from both Lr and LrC and see exactly what metadata accompanies the images. The results were slightly different, but most of the metadata is making it to the exported files--except the location data. There is no "Creator" field in Lr like there is in LrC, which isn't a very big deal. I assume the location data isn't visible in Windows file explorer because the location data is stored in something that only an EXIF viewer can see. True?
 
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I'm currently in the midst of a fairly massive project to digitize all of my family's slides and negatives going all the way back to 1940--perhaps 10,000 images in all. My work flow is to import the new hi-res scans into Lr, then let them sync down to LrC where I can use the date plugin to correct dates and I can add captions, location information, etc. (However, I find Lr easier to use for editing so I do most of my editing with the Lr Desktop.) In doing this, I've noticed some oddities in the synchronization of image metadata between Lr and LrC. Some information (Capture Date, Caption, Copyright, and Creator) seems to synchronize quite well. I can make a change in LrC and it will appear in Lr within a minute or two, and vice versa most of the time. I knew there was an issue of syncing keywords (tags?) from LrC but other information (Sublocation/Location, City, State, Country/Region) does not appear to sync at all either. Are the full metadata sync capabilities/limitations listed anywhere?

Today I discovered some the metadata edits to Copyright and Creator that I had made using a newly created preset in LrC failed to sync from LrC to Lr. I found this a bit unsettling, so thought I should try exporting files from both Lr and LrC and see exactly what metadata accompanies the images. The results were slightly different, but most of the metadata is making it to the exported files--except the location data. There is no "Creator" field in Lr like there is in LrC, which isn't a very big deal. I assume the location data isn't visible in Windows file explorer because the location data is stored in something that only an EXIF viewer can see. True?

The Sync process between LrC and Lr is poorly implemented. Metadata (Captions etc.) Sync one time-one way from LRC to LR. If a file have been sync’d from Lr to LrC, and metadata changes made to the subsequent LrC image do not get sync’d back

Files not existing in Lr can be added as a Smart DNG to Lr from LrC (and do not count against your plan storage).

The way that I get around this poorly implemented behavior is to complete the processing in LrC including any metadata changes. The remove the image form the All synched Photographs special collection. This removes the original from the Adobe Cloud. Nest I will add to a Synching Collection the completely processed image. This will add the Image and a Smart DNG to the Adobe Cloud and Lr. This will sync one time-one way all of the metadata in the LrC file.


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Metadata (Captions etc.) Sync one time-one way from LRC to LR. If a file have been sync’d from Lr to LrC, and metadata changes made to the subsequent LrC image do not get sync’d back
That's only true for keywords and location data and colour labels. Most other metadata items (e.g. Titles, Captions, GPS, copyright, flags, ratings) do sync both ways.
 
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That's only true for keywords and location data and colour labels. Most other metadata items (e.g. Titles, Captions, GPS, copyright, flags, ratings) do sync both ways.
Yes I thought about Titles and such after I posted. I had not managed to find the time to test which LrC metadata did sync up and which did not. I still say that the Sync process between LrC and Lr is poorly implemented.
 
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Here's my cheat sheet on this topic

What syncs back and forth (for images and Virtual Copies):
Develop module / Edit Panel changes
Star Ratings
Pick/Reject flags
Titles
Captions
Copyright text
Capture date/time
GPS coordinates
VC’s from LR Classic arrive in LR cloud as a separate image but still sync with the VC in LR Classic

What syncs 1 time only (Values taken from when Smart Preview first created)
Camera settings (of course these can’t be changed so not an issue)
Keywords (flattened list)
Location data (Country, State/Province, City, Sublocation)

What never syncs
All other metadata fields such as:
- Copyright Status
- Creator
- Job information
- Contact info for image creator/owner
- IPTC Data (headline, Subject code, etc.)
- Etc.
Collection/Album hierarchy
Collection custom sort order
Publish Services
Snapshots
Keyword Synonyms
Stacks
Etc.

What syncs differently
Videos originating in LR Cloud, sync to LR Classic (one way, one time).
Videos from LR Classic do not sync to LR Cloud
No video metadata syncs (including metadata that would sync for still images)
 
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What syncs 1 time only (Values taken from when Smart Preview first created)
Dan, I'm sure you know this, but it's worth calling out to any readers that Metadata needs to have been written to XMP before the Smart Preview is created in order to take advantage of this "feature".
What never syncs
All other metadata fields such as:
- Copyright Status
- Creator
- Job information
- Contact info for image creator/owner
- IPTC Data (headline, Subject code, etc.)
- Etc.

From my testing ALL of this data is transferred to the cloud when using the one-way, one-time procedure as above. It's just that none of the cloud apps will show that data (which makes it easy to assume that it isn't transferred), but try exporting the smart preview from Lightroom (including Metadata of course) then examine the export and you should see that data is present.

Collection custom sort order
Custom Sort Order is supposed to sync between Classic and the cloud, and it certainly does whenever I've tested it.
 
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When I enter the metadata into LrC where is it stored? In the LrC database, the file, or both?

Is there a preferred EXIF viewer that I can use to check the IPTC Data which is where the metadata preset appears to store the location data?
 
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I've noticed that some of the metadata doesn't get written immediately to file. It shows up in LrC, but not in the file itself. I've also noticed that there is a Ctrl+S option to "Save metadata to file." When I do this, the metadata gets updated and properly reflects what is in LrC. When should I use this command? I'm a bit confused because some/most of the metadata is showing up in the file without me using it.
 
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When I enter the metadata into LrC where is it stored? In the LrC database, the file, or both?

Is there a preferred EXIF viewer that I can use to check the IPTC Data which is where the metadata preset appears to store the location data?
When adding Metadata it is always stored in the LrC database.

Most of it can also be optionally stored in/with the image files, either automatically if you have enabled the option in the Catalog Settings>Metadata tab to "Automatically write changes into XMP", or manually by using the "Ctrl/Cmd+S" shortcut (or use the Menu Bar>Metadata>Save Metadata to File command). If the image is a proprietary Raw file, the metadata would be stored in an adjacent XMP sidecar file, for all other file-types it is stored directly into the XMP section of the file header.

The industry "standard" for viewing/changing metadata in image files would be ExifTool by Phil Harvey (https://exiftool.org/).
 
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I've noticed that some of the metadata doesn't get written immediately to file. It shows up in LrC, but not in the file itself. I've also noticed that there is a Ctrl+S option to "Save metadata to file." When I do this, the metadata gets updated and properly reflects what is in LrC. When should I use this command? I'm a bit confused because some/most of the metadata is showing up in the file without me using it.
Check your setting for the Catalog Settings>Metadata tab option to "Automatically write changes into XMP".

I prefer not to have that option enabled, instead I always use the Ctrl/Cmd+S option when I specifically want the metadata to be included.
 
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Check your setting for the Catalog Settings>Metadata tab option to "Automatically write changes into XMP".

I prefer not to have that option enabled, instead I always use the Ctrl/Cmd+S option when I specifically want the metadata to be included.
Interesting... The option "Automatically write changes into XMP" was already checked. That explains why the metadata was already in the files. What is the downside to having this option enabled? (i.e., Why do you not have it enabled?)

ExifTool shows the location information I added in the IPTC section of the metadata of the images I examined, so I'm good to go there.
 
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What is the downside to having this option enabled? (i.e., Why do you not have it enabled?)
The argument about whether to save metadata to XMP or not is a bit like all those other un-win-able debates (think Mac vs Windows, RAW vs DNG, Nikon vs Canon)....there are pros and cons, depending on your point of view.

Prior to the advent of the Adobe Cloud, I was very much in the proprietary Raw and no save to XMP camp, but things changed for me when I started using the cloud in a serious way. So I do (now) save to XMP, but only because it suits my quirky hybrid workflow (I'm still mainly Classic focused, but also have all my originals in the cloud). However, because I also now convert my Raw files to DNG before I upload them to the cloud, having the "Automatically write changes to XMP" enabled would be a real pain point. It's widely understood that Classic only uploads smart previews to the cloud, but it's probably less widely known that if the original is in the cloud then any physical change to an original in LrC would result in the full original being re-synced to the cloud.....that wouldn't be much of an issue if I was still using proprietary Raw, as in that case only the tiny XMP sidecar file would be uploaded, but because my files are DNG (thus no sidecar) that results in the very much larger original being re-synced potentially after every minor change. So I keep the auto option disabled, and only manually save to XMP when it's absolutely necessary.
 
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The argument about whether to save metadata to XMP or not is a bit like all those other un-win-able debates (think Mac vs Windows, RAW vs DNG, Nikon vs Canon)....there are pros and cons, depending on your point of view.

Prior to the advent of the Adobe Cloud, I was very much in the proprietary Raw and no save to XMP camp, but things changed for me when I started using the cloud in a serious way. So I do (now) save to XMP, but only because it suits my quirky hybrid workflow (I'm still mainly Classic focused, but also have all my originals in the cloud). However, because I also now convert my Raw files to DNG before I upload them to the cloud, having the "Automatically write changes to XMP" enabled would be a real pain point. It's widely understood that Classic only uploads smart previews to the cloud, but it's probably less widely known that if the original is in the cloud then any physical change to an original in LrC would result in the full original being re-synced to the cloud.....that wouldn't be much of an issue if I was still using proprietary Raw, as in that case only the tiny XMP sidecar file would be uploaded, but because my files are DNG (thus no sidecar) that results in the very much larger original being re-synced potentially after every minor change. So I keep the auto option disabled, and only manually save to XMP when it's absolutely necessary.

Makes sense. I've developed my own quirky workflow because of this oddball project I've taken on. I import my originals to Lr so that all of my originals are in the cloud, but I don't use the Lr local sync because it's local storage is an almost indecipherable mess. Instead I use LrC to sync the originals down so that I have the originals stored both locally and in the cloud. I use LrC to edit the metadata because I can use the Date plugin (and others) that don't work with Lr, but I use Lr to do my quick edits because I find it faster to do bulk editing. I reconcile the the image counts fairly regularly using a fairly snazzy spreadsheet to keep Lr & LrC in agreement--a process that now only takes a few minutes. (Though getting to this point was a bitch!)

Thanks again for your help
 
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